As the month of May gives way to June, the transition comes along with the first fuel pricing window for June under the Price Liberalization Program (PLP) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
Since the second pricing window for the month of May which saw most Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) increase fuel prices by 3%, the upward trajectory of petroleum prices has not been tamed and so fuel prices are set to increase again.
According to the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers – Ghana (COPEC-Ghana), fuel prices are set to be increased between 2% to 3%, and the increase is likely to take effect from Friday, 1st June.
“Pump prices for both products could be expected to rise by between 2-3% depending on the OMC, the current pump averages of 4.670 and 4.660 for Gas Oil and Gasoline respectively, given the current price movements, the two products could rise to as high as Ghc4.80/litre or Ghc21.60/ gallon, and Ghc4.78/litre or Ghc21.51/gallon for Gasoline and Gasoil respectively representing 2.783% and 2.55% increases on both products respectively,’ a tatement signed by Duncan Amoah, Executive Secretary of COPEC-Ghana said.
According to the statement, the increase would take effect in spite of the fact that the cedi’s depreciation against major trading currencies was not too much. “Forex over the past two weeks period has also lost some marginal points to close trading at around Ghc4.66/1$ from previous Ghc4.56/1$, and is not expected to have much impact on eventual pricing but consumers could pay more for the marginal losses in value though It is expected not to have any serious impact on fuel prices for the coming window.”
The statement blamed the increase to increment in the prices of petroleum products on the world market. These increments, it pointed out, were occasioned by massive geopolitical shifts, including attacks by Israel on Iran as well as a stalemate between the United States and Iran.
“World market prices over the past two weeks’ window has seen some sharp increases in respect of both products. Gasoline saw an increase of about 2.78% to close trading at around $753.600/metric from the previous window figures of $712.675/metric.
“Gasoil or diesel saw an increase of about 2.55%, increasing from previous trading indexes of $656.675/metric to $695.175/metric representing about $38.5/metric change.”
The statement said ex-refinery prices for both products are expected to go up by between 2-3% for the first window in June. The new prices are expected to reflect at the pumps from Thursday the 31st of June though most OMCs indicate the adjustments will most likely reflect by Friday, 1st of June.
COPEC-Ghana used the statement to reiterate its request to government to hedge against petroleum prices so that the country can cease being victimized by the oft turbulent world market price volatilities.
It also reiterated its call on government to cushion already overburdened Ghanaians by reducing taxes on petroleum products that contribute heavily to the high costs at the pumps.
“Whiles Ghana might have missed the opportunity to hedge petroleum pricing whiles world prices were generally low, we still believe that option should be heavily exploited to ensure fuel prices are stabilised for the ordinary consumer whose budget on fuel keeps increasing by the weeks.
“We further reiterate our earlier calls on the Government through its yet to be presented mid-year budget, to further consider reviews on fuel taxes especially the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Margins as well as the repositioning of the special petroleum Tax to an ex refinery position instead of the current fixed ex depot position amount, or a further downwards movement from the current 13% on Ex-Depot to 10% of Ex-Refinery position as the tax levels continues to remain very high, accounting for over 51% on current ex pump prices.”
COPEC-Ghana pointed out that fuel prices on the world market are likely to hike the more given the complexion of international geopolitics. It therefore called on government, “to do anything within its powers to arrest the escalations at the pumps as any further shocks on world market prices or the forex in the coming weeks will likely have a very dire impact on prices and consumers eventually.”
In May, the second fuel pricing window saw most of the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) increase fuel prices by about 3% at the various pumps, with average trading indexes of around 4.670/litre for petrol or gasoline and 4.660/litre for gasoil with the special or higher octane products selling at 5.230/litre.
Price of a gallon averaged 21.015 for PMS (petrol ) and Ghc 20.970 for AGO (diesel) across most pumps.